Test transmissions for Channel 5 and its family of channels have begun on a new satellite transponder, ahead of an expected frequency change.
At present, all of Channel 5’s current satellite channels, plus Nick Jr Paw Patrol are being dual illuminated (or duplicated) on Astra 2F, 11307 H (transponder 109) in addition to their usual slots on Astra 2G 10964 H.
A brief test took place last month ahead of the start of full test transmissions this week. The channels affected are Channel 5, Channel 5 HD, 5+1, 5 ACTION, 5 SELECT, 5 STAR, 5 STAR+1, 5USA and 5USA+1, plus pay channel Nick Jr Too (currently broadcasting as NickJr Paw Patrol).
Channel 5 signed a long-term deal with satellite operator SES in 2012 for its current transponder. The new tests are broadcasting on Arqiva satellite transponder capacity. Arqiva previously signed a deal for Astra 2F capacity in 2013, to allow it to serve broadcast clients wanting to reach UK and Ireland audiences.
Transponder 109 was previously used by Arqiva to provide a back-up to relay transmitters affected by the loss of service from Bilsdale in 2021.
The duplicated services do not yet carry Electronic Programme Guide (EPG) data for either Sky or Freesat.
If you have Sky UK or Freesat
These technical tests will not affect you. When changes are made to Channel 5’s services, your receiver should receive an update ensuring you can continue watching as normal.
If you have Sky Ireland or a generic free-to-air receiver
You can continue to receive Channel 5 on the current manually tuned frequency for now.
The tests are relevant to satellite TV enthusiasts and for any organisation who relies on the Channel 5 satellite feed for internal distribution systems.
Satellite TV in the UK is tightly controlled by Sky, with Freesat accounting for most of the remaining satellite receivers. As a result, most receivers are automatically updated with new tuning parameters when services are ready to migrate to a new transponder. This means broadcasters don’t need to run on-screen prompts or communication campaigns when changes are being made, unlike in other countries.
Any change will however affect viewers using generic free-to-air satellite receivers. These are more common for non-Sky satellite reception in the Republic of Ireland, but also in the UK for satellite installations designed to receive foreign channels.
Satellite: Astra 2F,
Symbol Rate: 27500
Mode: DVB-S, QPSK
Service ID: 2101 - 2110
Test transmissions are subject to removal, encryption or other changes without notice. Information correct as of 4th October 2022 18:00 BST.
Update 15/11/2022: Freesat has now migrated viewers to the new frequency. Sky will follow shortly. If you lose access to Channel 5 or its subsidiaries, please reboot your receiver.